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Booking InspectionsTāpuinga mātaitanga

Booking Inspections

How Do I Arrange A Building Inspection?

Call us on 06 857 7731 and make an appointment as soon as you know the related work will be ready to be inspected.

We require a minimum of 24 hours’ notice and will usually be able to inspect the work within 24 to 48 hours.

Up to three days’ notice may be required at times of high demand.  Please be aware that requests for exact inspection times and particular Building Officers cannot always be accommodated.

 

You will need to quote the following:

  • Building consent number
  • Site address
  • Type of inspection (specific details – listed below)
  • Name and contact phone number of the person who will be onsite at the time of the inspection
  • In the case of restricted building work, the name and number of the Licensed Building Practitioner must be supplied

Note: If your consent is older than 6 years from date of issue then the inspection request will be referred to the Building Team Leader Inspections prior to any booking being confirmed.

 

On-site requirements for inspections

For an inspection to take place, the approved plans and documentation must be available on site. The Building Consents Officer will be inspecting the building work against these approved documents.  If we arrive on site and the documentation is not available we will not undertake the inspection. We will however bill you for our time.

If work is not ready to be inspected, the officer will either fail the inspection or walk away and not carry out the inspection. In either case, you will have to book another one. If you are not ready, please cancel the inspection so that the time slot can be used by someone else.  Repeat inspections will incur additional costs.

Arrange safe access to the building or building work.  The Building Consents Officer may refuse to undertake inspections if the site is deemed unsafe or access is unsuitable. Safe access must be supplied to “off the ground” areas.

It is preferable that the owner or an agent be available on site for all inspections, while we appreciate that this may not always be possible it is mandatory that for final inspections the owner or their representative is on site.

 

How building work is inspected and recorded

During an inspection, the building officer checks that the construction complies with the approved plans and specifications for the building consent. Inspection checklists are completed during the inspection. All items listed, big or small, must be compliant with the approved building consent documents (plans and specifications) in order for the Building Consents Officer to pass the inspection.  The inspection results are automatically saved into the system.

At the end of an inspection, the outcome of the inspection is given verbally and the inspection report is emailed to the owner/agent and tradesperson.

What is a Notice to Fix?

A Council must issue a notice to fix for any work that doesn't meet the requirements of the Building Act 2004 or Building Regulations, which includes the Building Code. For example a notice to fix may be issued for building work not carried out in accordance with a current building consent or perhaps work that does not comply with the Building Code. A notice to fix is the commencement of formal proceedings to achieve compliance with the Building Act or Regulations. If a notice to fix is issued, a letter explaining the process will accompany the notice to fix.
A notice to fix is issued to a specified person/s. A specified person may be:

  • The owner.
  • The person/s carrying out the building work.
  • Any other person/s supervising the building work.

The notice to fix will:

  • Specify the contravention.
  • Specify what is required to remedy the contravention.
  • State a time frame within which it must be complied with.
  • Require the specified person to contact Council when the required remedy has been completed.

It is an offence under section 168 of the Building Act 2004 failing to comply with a notice to fix.

Enforcement of notices to fix is undertaken by the Territorial Authority.

Changes to the project once underway

Should it become necessary to change the design part way through the project a formal application to amend the building consent will be necessary and this will follow the same process as a building consent application.

Minor changes such as repositioning a door, bracing element or substituting a material for a similar product (eg interior linings) is a minor variation and can be discussed with and approved by the Building Consents Officer on site. Outcomes will be recorded on the building consent file and you may be required to provide an as-built plan.

Description of Standard Inspection Types:

  1.  FOUNDATION INSPECTION PRIOR TO PLACING CONCRETE. (This is where we check that the foundation has been excavated to the correct depth and width, and has the correct bearing pressure. This is judged generally on the requirements of NZS3604, or the specific design you have on your job. The placement of the reinforcing steel is also checked at this inspection.The site inspection part is where the boundaries distances are checked. This is not only important because of where the owner may have wanted the building, but also the distances MUST comply with the district plan minimum boundary distances, or the Resource Consent associated with the building consent.)
  2. PRE-SLAB PLUMBING INSPECTION. (This is where the sub floor plumbing pipes are checked for their jointing, laying to their correct falls and their bedding. This is important because this 'plumbing' must last a minimum of 50 years. Therefore the jointing of the pipes, soft bedding material around them to help prevent stones puncturing them, and the minimum falls to help prevent blockages are critical inspections. Water tests of these drains are essential to check for leaks before the pour. If there is no water available the plumber should do an 'Air' test. We have to see ALL the pipes before the builder carries on and prepares the rest of the slab for the main pour.
  3. PRE-SLAB INSPECTION. (This is to confirm that all the required steel reinforcing is in place, and that the required concrete thickness for the job, or any required thickenings are in place. It is also the time that the pipe work through the slab has been correctly lagged or sleeved. It is not council  responsibility to check the position of these pipes. That should be confirmed between the builder and the plumber.)
  4.  FOUNDATION INSPECTION- GARAGE - FARM BUILDING. (This has thesame requirements as No.1.)
  5.  RETAINING WALL INSPECTION. (This would be a check of the specific design foundations for a retaining wall that would require a building consent because it was over 1.5m in height. However, if you are going to construct aretaining wall that is under this height, but it was going to be subject to a 'surcharge' (this would mean that "the high side may be used as a driveway for example) then this should have specific design and have the foundation checked. You should also call for a drainage inspection after the wall is built, but before backfilling, to check the drain and drainage material to prevent hydrostatic pressure build up.)
  6.  BLOCKWORK INSPECTION PRIOR TO POURING CONCRETE/BLOCKFILL. (If this inspection is called for, it is required to.check that the block cavities are clean to allow the required volume of concrete to be installed. Also to check that all the required reinforcing and design requirements have been constructed.)
  7.  SUB-FLOOR INSPECTION. (This inspection is to check that all the required sub-floor fixings from the foundation up are in place, and are the correct types and materials. On a new build this should be requested prior to the floor being laid.)
  8.  PRE-WRAP INSPECTION INCLUDING ROOF. (This is required prior to ANY building wrap OR roof underlay being placed. It is a wall frame and roof framing check. It is there to double check that all the structural 'hold down' requirements are in place, and are the correct types and materials. Structurally of course this is essential for the durability of the building. If the 'wrap' is installed it can be impossible to check some of these comply, or if a mistake has been made and some were missed out.)
  9.  EXTERNAL PRE-WATER WATER PROOF MEMBRANE APPLICATION INSPECTION.This is an inspection that is required PRIOR to the application of an external waterproof membrane. For example, checking the substrate before a butynol  membrane is applied. This is essential to check that the sheet fixings are correct, any expansion gaps required are there and that the moisture content is correct.
  10.  PRE-CLAD, FLASHING & CAVITY INSPECTION. (If this is called for, it is required in order that the building can be clad whether it has a cavity or not. This one inspection 'fits all'. It covers a check of everything prior to cladding. If it is on a cavity, then all the battens are checked for fitting and treatment levels. Sometimes the battens have to be installed in a certain fashion to accommodate external sheet bracing. Once the exterior joinery is installed, a second check should be called for to check that the head flashings are installed correctly before completing the cladding to soffit. For either cladding design all the flashing tapes are checked, all penetrationsthrough the wrap and any other 'additional' wrap requirements prior to cladding.)
  11. BRICK VENEER INSPECTION. (This is called for when the bricks are laid to NO further than half high. This check is required to ensure that the bricks are mortared correctly, and that the brick ties are the correct type, spacing and clean to prevent water travel across them to the wrap. It also checks that the minimum cavity sizes are maintained.)
  12.  PRE-LINE/WEATHER TIGHTNESS INSPECTION. (This is a check thatthe building is completely weather proof prior to the installation of any interior linings. The frames are checked for their moisture content to allow lining out, and a second double check that all the wall frames are held down by their appropriate fixings depending on their bracing design. The frames will also be checked for holes and notching being no more than allowed for in NZS3604. If they have been notched or drilled over size, then remedial work to strengthen studs and top or bottom plates will be required if not already done. Therefore, when this inspection is called for, ALL of the sub-trades should have finished their 'framing' works prior to this being called for. All of the exterior joinery will also be checked for 'air seals' to the ENTIRE perimeter of their jambs, as these are a compulsory requirement of the building code. The omission of these from the exterior joinery was one of the major contributory factors in 'leaky building syndrome'. Owing to the fact that ANY building, be it dwelling with attached garage/separate garage must have its structure protected for a 50 year minimum durability. ALL exterior joinery must have these air seals. It is advisable before requesting this inspection that the Gib Site Guide is referred to. This would alert you to any penetrations in brace wall sheets that would fall in the 'restricted' area, and allow you to rectify these prior, to inspection. Please also have the insulation in place.)
  13.  PRE-LINE PLUMBING INSPECTION. (This is requested to allow the pipe penetrations through the framing to be checked, and also to have the pipes pressure tested prior to lining. At this stage, if the job were multi-storey, then ALL internal waste pipes that will be hidden in walls, or intermediate floors, should be water or air tested to check for leaks. This is mandatory in the building code, for obvious reasons.)
  14.  POST-LINE INSPECTION. (This inspection is principally required prior to ANY internal plastering or painting. It is required so that ALL the brace sheets in the construction can be checked for their installation, and also substrate . fixings if possible in wet areas. The installation MUST be to the manufacturers' instructions, and this would apply whether the brace sheets are Plaster board or any other sheet material. There should be no penetrations in the restricted areas, and none of the sheets should be damaged, especially around the perimeter. The nails or screws MUST be the correct length and diameter for the b.-ace sheet. Please be aware that ceiling diaphragms are a bracing element and also must be fitted and checked off to the same degree.)
  15. INTERNAL PRE-WATERPROOF MEMBRANE INSPECTION FORWET AREAS. (This check would be called for almost exclusively for wet areas that were going to be tiled e.g. Tiled shower cubicles. It would be required just prior to the membrane being applied by an APPROVED applicator. We would check the installation of the substrate that the tiles were going to be applied to, and all the required bond breakers for that membrane. The reason for an approved applicator is that we cannot check the thickness or application of the membrane itself, and therefore require a producer statement at the end of the job from an approved applicator that the application and material used complies with that specified. If in doubt of exactly what areas on your job would need this inspection, please consult your building inspector to confirm which areas require specific waterproofing. Please ensure that the substrate you use is the correct type for the weight or tiles to be used! E.G., Gib Aqua line 10mm is only rated to 20kg MAX per square meter. Double check this!
  16.  FLOOD TEST INSPECTION. (This is required in wet areas, although we base requesting this on risk to the owner and the building! It is required to ensure that the waterproof membrane that has been applied is not punctured and leaks. This is especially important for 2nd storey bathrooms where a leak would cause potentially severe and dangerous damage, and would be extremely costly to rectify. This is exaggerated even more where the tiled area was a level entry shower etc, and the entire bathroom had to be waterproofed.
  17.  DRAINAGE INSPECTION. (This inspection would be required for all drain installation that is 'external' to the building itself. This includes storm water discharge whether it is to another drain or to tanks. The ENTIRE length of the drain must be checked for jointing, depth and bedding. ALL drains should be water tested, but ALL sanitary drains MUST be on water test or air test to besigned off. If you are building a retaining wall then a drainage inspection should be called for. This is required to check that the drain size and backfill material are correct, so that there are no problems with hydrostatic pressure build up.)
  18.  EFFLUENT TRENCH INSPECTION. (This is similar to the above drainage inspection insofar that the entire drain should be available to check. NOT just a bit sticking out at each end.)
  19.  INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR FINAL INSPECTION. (This is up to the consent holder to request when they believe that all the work listed on their consent has been completed. At this stage various things that are impractical to check prior to this stage are checked for their compliance. It can be everything from insulation clearances around down lights to the finished floor level relative to ground level. It is important that the 'conditions' attached to the consent paperwork are checked prior to this being called for. This will highlight any extra items that are required before a Code Compliance Certificate can be issued. It should be emphasized here that as the builder/plumber on the job, even if you are not the consent holder or their agent, that it is very useful to point out to the owner that they must call for the final inspection when all of the work has been completed.)
  20.  INBUILT SOLID FUEL HEATER CHIMNEY CHECK. (This is required for an in built fire to ensure that the existing or new chimney is safe to have a heater installed into it. The fire should not be installed until this has been done.)
  21.  GENERAL INSPECTION. (Sometimes there may be combined or unusual types of inspection that we anticipate will be requested on a job. This general inspection covers whatever is required.)
  22.  SWIMMING POOL FENCE INSPECTION. (This would be required after the fence has been completed and is in itself a final inspection.)
  23.  FIRE AND EGRESS. (This inspection is required to check all safety requirements to do with fire detection, and warnings systems have been installed as were required by the consent. Most commonly only smoke alarms as listed on the 'conditions' of the consent documents, but can be fully integrated and specifically designed systems.)
  24. FINAL INSPECTION- GARAGE / FARM BUILDING / FIREPLACE / DEMOLITION. (This inspection is a final inspection for any of the adjacent categories, and is primarily split like this for administrative purposes. It does not mean that they all apply to your consent. Usually this means only one of the headings.)
  25.  FINAL INSPECTION COMMERCIAL. (This is similar to a final inspection on a domestic building, other than it covers a broader, more commercial specific range of checkpoints. It applies to commercial buildings only.)
  26.  FINAL INSPECTION PLUMBING. (This would be required on a plumbing and drainage consent, or minor works application. An example would be that you hot water cylinder has been replaced and we would need to check the valving was in place, and that the electrical certificate had been supplied.
  27.  FINAL INSPECTION DRAINAGE. (This would be required as part of a plumbing and drainage consent or minor works consent. An example of this would be the replacement of the effluent field for a septic tank system. Once it had been initially inspected the fmal would be needed to ensure correct completion, and any fencing that was required or electrical certificate if that were appropriate for the system used.
  28.  FINAL INSPECTION RETAINING WALL. (This is required to check that a retaining wall has been correctly constructed with all the appropriate components for compliance. e.g Timber sizes grading and treatment etc. etc

SUMMARY:


This terminology should help you identify what inspections you need and when.
The number of inspections on the building consent job copy are calculated as
nearly as is practically possible. This has been estimated using what we
anticipate as the most likely course of construction.
At completion of the job the final tally of inspections are calculated in the office,
and if extra were required for legitimate reasons, then the owner / consent holder
will be invoiced at that time.

FAILED INSPECTIONS:

When inspections are failed owing to incorrect construction and they are not items that could be re-checked when on the next
visit. Then the consent holder shall be invoiced individually for each one at the timethat they have been failed. It will list the date of the fail and the reasons for the fail.
An example of this would be if the foundations were incorrect according to the plans or NZS3604 (being the most commonly used detail). This would require a re-inspection prior to any further work and will be charged.
If however the failed item was relatively minor, and could be re-inspectedquickly along with another booked inspection, it may not be charged. This will be at the discretion of the building department Team Leader. An example of this could be that the insulation to the walls is missing at a pre- lining check. If the plumbing pre-line check was for a later date, the insulation for the walls could be easily seen at that inspection, and may not be charged for.

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